GCLA STANDARDS

The GCLA will supply you with the most up-to-date course materials and prospectus based on the most recently published standards recognized. The GCLA focuses on three chief sectors: Law, Arbitration, and Intellectual Property‎. Each sector contains a set of standards which must be endorsed and employed not only by the GCLA but by the managers and trainees within your organization with up most competencies.

Certification will require your law support agency and/or institution to :

  • Develop written policy directives
  • Make fact based management decisions
  • Develop an emergency preparedness plan for natural and manmade emergencies


What accreditation may do for your agency?

  • Improve relations with your community
  • Strengthen accountability
  • Reduce risk and liability exposure
  • Facilitate the pursuit of professional excellence


The Field of Law :

The field of law is a very broad term which carries numerous definitions and fields. Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws are made by governments, specifically by their legislatures. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution (written or unwritten) and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, and society in countless ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. There are six primary fields of law which should first be noted before continuing onto the set standards which includes Criminal, Civil, Personal, state, Property, Commercial and tax, and Administrative laws. The law system entails a set of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.

Law is a vital aspect in our lives as it serves as a societal mediator of the relations among the public. Law may have adapted in respect to the changes in society, but it remains the system of rules by which we understand our rights and responsibilities as citizens.

  • The certification standards provide norms against which agency performance can be measured and monitored over time.
  • Certification standards provide the agency with a continuous flow of Commission distributed information about procedures and projects.
  • Certification provides objective measures to justify decisions related to budget requests and personnel policies.
  • Certification standards serve as a yardstick to measure the effectiveness of the agency’s programs and services. The services provided are defined, and uniformity of service is assured.
  • Certification streamlines operations, providing more consistency and more effective deployment of agency manpower.


Every firm must adhere to the following guidelines :

  • Set in writing its governance and decision making structure.
  • Establish an active record of working practitioners and their experience.
  • Each member firm must provide a broad range of specialized legal services.
  • Provide documented manuals and procedures complying cases related to arbitrations in managing cases related to arbitration and Intellectual Property‎ activities.
  • Provide enforceable standards of behavior for attorneys and with disciplinary consequences.
  • Must comply with Rules of Conduct, and Codes of Professional Responsibilities.
  • Maintain a current repository on latest alterations in law and areas of practice.

These standards help law support agencies and organizations in numerous ways which benefit the agency. They help to strengthen and control capabilities and help formalize essential management procedures. These mandated standards also establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices and improves upon the agencies service and delivery methods. They aid in solidifying interagency cooperation and coordination and boosts overall citizen and staff confidence in the agency.

Arbitration :

The Arbitration Committee addresses arbitration in the public and private sectors, both domestic and international. It educates and informs members about institutional arbitration choices, model arbitration programs, community based and family law programs, and case law and legislative developments. The committee provides information to the legal profession and beyond about the advantages of arbitration, addresses arbitrator standards and qualifications, and addresses contract/clause drafting issues including enforceability. An arbitrator should conscientiously endeavor to understand and observe, to the extent consistent with professional responsibility, the significant principles governing each arbitration system in which the arbitrator serves.

What is Arbitration ?

Arbitration is an alternative means of settling a dispute by impartial persons without proceeding to a court trial. It is sometimes preferred as a means of settling a matter in order to avoid the expense, delay, and acrimony of litigation. There is no discovery and there are simplified rules of evidence in arbitration. The arbitrator or arbitrators are selected directly by the parties or are chosen in accordance with the terms of a contract sin which the parties have agreed to use a court-ordered arbitrator or an arbitrator from an internationally recognized association. If there is no contract, usually each party chooses an arbitrator and the two arbitrators select a third to comprise the panel. When parties submit to arbitration, they agree to be bound by and comply with the arbitrators' decision. The arbitrators' decision is given after an informal proceeding where each side presents evidence and witnesses. Arbitration hearings usually last only a few hours and the opinions are not public record. Arbitration has long been used in labor, construction, and securities regulation, but is now gaining popularity in other business disputes.

Responsibilities and Standards to the Arbitration Profession :

  • An arbitrator must uphold the dignity and integrity of the office and endeavor to provide effective service to the parties. The arbitrator must maintain current with the principals, practices and developments that are relevant to this field of practice.
  • An arbitrator shall not make false or deceptive representations in the advertising and/or solicitation of arbitration work.
  • An arbitrator shall not engage in conduct that would compromise or appear to compromise the arbitrator's impartiality.
  • An experienced arbitrator should cooperate in the training of new arbitrators.

Repositories of best practice materials in international and domestic arbitration are available on the GCLA website. These materials include protocols, guidelines, and reports on topics ranging from drafting arbitration clauses, strategies for effective case management, and crafting enforceable awards.

Obligations and Compliance :

Agencies that seek certification are required to comply only with those standards that are specifically applicable to them. Applicability is based on two factors: an agency's size and the functions it performs. Applicable standards are categorized as mandatory or other-than-mandatory. Agencies must comply with all applicable mandatory standards and at least 80% of applicable other-than-mandatory standards. If an agency cannot comply with a standard because of legislation, labor agreements, court orders, or case law, waivers can be sought from the Commission.